Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Story of Simplicity 3799

Yesterday I whipped up Simplicity 3799 from my post a couple of days ago. As with any pattern, there is always a story of design changes and alterations that go along with it.

First off, I tend to dislike patterns that are sized XXS, XS, S, and M. I'd much rather work with the standard pattern number sizes, but oh well. This style tunic REALLY appealed to me. It has that trendy look that is so popular now. The only thing I disliked was the neckband. It was, IMO, too narrow. I've seen lots of tops in this style and the neckband is usually wider and more distinctive. That's what I wanted.

Another thing, this pattern is designed for wovens and I'm using a knit. No problem. I rarely size down and didn't for this pattern either. A size XS (6-8) I'm definitely not! So I decided to make a muslin. There is a lot of muslin knit fabric in my stash with very little stretch, maybe 10%, so the knit really acts more like a woven. Even before I made the muslin, I did a 1/2" forward shoulder adjustment on the neckband doing a simple fix--cut off the 1/2" on the front neckband and add it to the back. Normally, this is not the way I would do a FS adjustment, but thought it would work like a charm on this neckband and it did.

Now, the muslin. Here it is with a couple of things I noticed. Slight pulling of extra gathers (where there aren't supposed to be gathers) due to my full bust and a little pulling on the back. Notice the side seam is pulling a little in the front too. The arrows show my problem areas.

I thought the good quality knit I was using would take care of these issues, but since I'll probably make this up on a woven eventually, I decided to do my pattern alterations now, regardless of whether I'm using a knit or woven. It will save me time--the pattern is out, already pressed, etc.

First off, make the neckband wider by a 1/2" I did this by extending the top edge inward as shown in the following pic. You can also see where I added/subtracted the 1/2" for the forward shoulder on the front and back neckband pieces too.

Next alteration--the FBA. Just a 1/2" will do the trick for my C-cup boobs. I was thinking about using pivot/slide, but the traditional FFRP FBA won out. I cut the pattern in half at the waist. Why? Because I don't need the extra width below the waist. I marked my bust apex, sliced and diced, made a horizontal bust dart, then closed it up and transfered it in three areas to add more bust gathers as per the style of the pattern. In the first pic, you can easily see the three slices for the new gathers before I added tissue to fill this area in.

Then I reconnected the top and bottom half of the pattern pieces and drew the side seam to match the original side seam at the waist. After taking this pic, I cut off the excess.

Next up, my Broad Back Adjustment for the upper back only. I'm small in the lower back and don't need any extra width in this area. A 1/2" will do it here too. I use an L-slash method to add the width as shown in the next pic. I blend the side seams as per my preference.

Then finally, I added 1" to the bottom hem for a little extra "playing around" with the hemline length. It was taken out anyway, but it was extra insurance. My widest point is not my hipline but my upper thigh so I like to work my hemline in to what I think is the most flattering length for me. Here I'm showing just the front pattern piece for the added 1" length at the hemline:

Okay. So now the alterations are done! The finished garment is below. Note--the top is not bra friendly! The IBTC can go bra-less, but the full busted gals like me must wear a strapless bra or other suitable boob holding devices.


Back (I really have to start working on pants again. These RTW jeans look awful on that back view and I'm very self conscious about it.)

Here's a closeup:

The next time I make this top, I will use a solid color knit and make the neckband even a smidge wider for embellishing. I want the neckband in a solid to be the focal point of the top. However, I will need to slash/overlap maybe a 1/4" or 3/8" at the CF and CB of the neckband. Making it any wider and putting it on my hollow chest will make it gape.

And that's the story behind Simplicity 3799. Off to do a review of this pattern on Patternreview right now.


Alexandra said...

That's a great-looking top! I love, love, love the neckband!

2BSewing: said...

Beautiful! You did a great job with your knit top. I definitely love the solid contrast neckband as it really shows offs the top and the print fabric. The color look great on you. Your pattern adjustment pictures were a big help.

kasizzle said...

LOVE this on you! Your fabric is gorgeous.

Lindsay T said...

This really came together so nicely. It looks great on you.

Cennetta said...

Looking good. I've had to make a similar alteration on S2925.

Robin said...

Great job!! I really liked the explanations of the adjustments you made.

Sylvie said...

Love the colors you used, and loved the explanation of the adjustments you made for the girls..I have a slightly larger set of girls, so this will help me when I get ready to make mine, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Love your review. I cut out my pattern last year and didn't get around to start putting it together till today.Everything is all set but no instructions. I've looked everywhere but it's in a good hiding place.Of course the pattern is no longer on sale. sigh. Guess it will go back into the closet.